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Gavin Andresen (born Gavin Bell[1]) is a software developer best known for his involvement with bitcoin. He is based in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Gavin Andresen
Gavin Andresen at 2014 Web Summit.jpg
Gavin Andresen on the centre stage during Day 3 of the 2014 Web Summit
Residence Amherst, Massachusetts, USA
Other names Gavin Bell
Alma mater Princeton University
Known for Bitcoin, software
Scientific career
Fields Computer science

Originally a developer of 3D graphics and virtual reality software, he became involved in developing products for the bitcoin market in 2010, and was declared by Satoshi Nakamoto as the lead developer of the reference implementation for bitcoin client software after Satoshi Nakamoto had announced his departure. In 2012 he founded the Bitcoin Foundation to support and nurture the development of the bitcoin currency, and by 2014 left his software development role to concentrate on his work with the Foundation.



Andresen graduated from Princeton University in 1988.[1] He began his career working on 3D graphics software at Silicon Graphics Computer Systems.[2] In 1996, he co-authored the VRML 2.0 specification,[3] and later published a reference manual for VRML 2.0.[4]

Since leaving Silicon Valley in 1996, Andresen has tackled a wide variety of software-related ventures, including CTO of an early voice-over-the-Internet startup and co-founder of a company that made multiplayer online games for blind people and their sighted friends.[2]


Prior to 2014 Andresen was the lead developer for a part of the bitcoin digital currency project, working to create a secure, stable "cash for the Internet." [5] Andresen discovered bitcoin in 2010, quickly recognising the brilliance of its design. Soon after he created a website named The Bitcoin Faucet which gave away bitcoin.[1] In April 2011, Forbes quoted Andresen as saying, "Bitcoin is designed to bring us back to a decentralized currency of the people," and "this is like better gold than gold."[6] He was soon designated by the inventor of bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto to lead development of the client software for the bitcoin network which is now known as Bitcoin Core.[1]

Andresen also created ClearCoin, an escrow-type of service, which was closed on about June 23, 2011.[7] After several years working on the software, Andresen left the role of lead developer of bitcoin to work on the strategic development of its technology.[8] He conceived of the Bitcoin Foundation which became reality in 2012.

In November 2016 Andresen stated that the Australian programmer and entrepreneur Craig Wright was the real Satoshi Nakamoto, but later retracted this statement.[9] As of June 2017, he has not contributed to Bitcoin Core since February 2016.[10] His commit access on GitHub was revoked in May 2016.[11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d Simonite, Tom (15 August 2014). "The Man Who Really Built Bitcoin". MIT Technology Review. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved 14 November 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "The Future of Payments - Panelists - Bitcoin 2013: The Future of PaymentsMay 17-19, 2013 - San Jose, CA". Bitcoin 2013. 2011-04-16. Retrieved 2014-03-06. 
  3. ^ "VRML 2.0". 
  4. ^ "The Annotated VRML 2.0 Reference Manual". 
  5. ^ Kadhim Shubber (8 April 2014). "Gavin Andresen Steps Down as Bitcoin's Lead Developer". Coindesk. Retrieved 15 November 2016. 
  6. ^ "Crypto Currency". Forbes. 2011-04-20. Retrieved 2014-03-06. 
  7. ^ "ClearCoin - Bitcoin". Retrieved 2014-03-06. 
  8. ^ Preukschat, Alex; Josep Busquet (2015). Bitcoin: The Hunt of Satoshi Nakamoto. Europe Comics. p. 87. ISBN 9791032800201. Retrieved 16 November 2016. 
  9. ^ "Satoshi". 16 November 2016. Retrieved 15 November 2016. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Peter Todd [@petertoddbtc] (2 May 2016). "FYI, @gavinandresen's commit access just got removed - Core team members are concerned that he may have been hacked" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 

External linksEdit